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#1159761 - 12/19/19 05:18 AM Wondering, hardly any interaction on lyric forums  
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John W. Selleck Online content
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NJ
When I came on here for a # of years, there were tons of people willing to comment on the lyric forums, and give advice to the people that posted there. today there are still lots of viewers but hardly any commenters. Is there a virus going round that makes people afraid to comment or just apathy? Being first a lyricist, this was one of my favorite places here. I gave and received lots of advice. Now it seems mostly dead.


Have a goodun,

John W. Selleck BMI Songwriter
A day without learning is a day lost

http://www.soundclick.com/johnsings
http://www.soundclick.com/johnwselleck
http://www.soundclick.com/johnselleck
#1159768 - 12/19/19 10:28 AM Re: Wondering, hardly any interaction on lyric forums [Re: John W. Selleck]  
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Fdemetrio Online content
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Originally Posted by John W. Selleck
When I came on here for a # of years, there were tons of people willing to comment on the lyric forums, and give advice to the people that posted there. today there are still lots of viewers but hardly any commenters. Is there a virus going round that makes people afraid to comment or just apathy? Being first a lyricist, this was one of my favorite places here. I gave and received lots of advice. Now it seems mostly dead.


All 3 of the major songwriting forums were dominated by lyric people say 10 years ago. There's alot more of them. Once home recording became a reality, the focus of the forums shifted to the sound of the demos. There was a transition time where you would post a song, and somebody would say "I think you need a deesser on the vocals" Instead of, that melody is weak, or I dont understand that line.

It takes a really clever or really well crafted story for somebody to be moved by it, and even if they are it's like so what? What do I do with this lyric i just read?...I cant listen to it, I have to come back to this page to read it again, and unlike some of our very good complete songs, once the lyric is read and somebody says...good lyric!, that's about it for that lyric.

People hear songs, music, they dont read lyrics unless they really like the song or the artist.

I write lyrics by themselves sometimes while im still logged in here, and post them without much editing. Just to see if it catches any eye. But the ears are what people are interested in, and you cant even judge a lyric without hearing the words in the mix.

#1159771 - 12/19/19 10:42 AM Re: Wondering, hardly any interaction on lyric forums [Re: John W. Selleck]  
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Hi John:

Perhaps it's time to combine them into one? Another alternative is to split them into genres... but the "fly in that ointment"... most lyrics can be "shoe-horned" into just about any genre. I don't have the answers, John... but it is a question worth asking... 'cause I remember the day when those Lyric "topics" were very active.

To FD's remarks... I, too... am guilty of going for the campfire where there's music. Reading a lyric is time consuming, often confusing and highly interpretive... in most cases.

I hope you don't take my comments as being negative or condescending... quite the contrary. I began my less than auspicious "career" as a Lyricist for a Singer/Actor and had to find a way to continue writing by learning to play and "sing" when he returned to his "Day Job" and could no longer "musicate" my words. (That term is probably patented by our own Beth Williams... so... forgive me, Bethyboo... as your admiring friends always called you.)

Thanks, John... for bringing up this subject... and for your enthusiastic return to JPF from way across the Pacific. JPF really needed a fresh "shot in the arm"... and you, my friend... are just the "Physician" we needed!

Merry Christmas, ----Dave

#1159772 - 12/19/19 10:58 AM Re: Wondering, hardly any interaction on lyric forums [Re: Dave Rice]  
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Originally Posted by Dave Rice
Hi John:

Perhaps it's time to combine them into one? Another alternative is to split them into genres... but the "fly in that ointment"... most lyrics can be "shoe-horned" into just about any genre. I don't have the answers, John... but it is a question worth asking... 'cause I remember the day when those Lyric "topics" were very active.

To FD's remarks... I, too... am guilty of going for the campfire where there's music. Reading a lyric is time consuming, often confusing and highly interpretive... in most cases.

I hope you don't take my comments as being negative or condescending... quite the contrary. I began my less than auspicious "career" as a Lyricist for a Singer/Actor and had to find a way to continue writing by learning to play and "sing" when he returned to his "Day Job" and could no longer "musicate" my words. (That term is probably patented by our own Beth Williams... so... forgive me, Bethyboo... as your admiring friends always called you.)

Thanks, John... for bringing up this subject... and for your enthusiastic return to JPF from way across the Pacific. JPF really needed a fresh "shot in the arm"... and you, my friend... are just the "Physician" we needed!

Merry Christmas, ----Dave



Musicate...lol. That word was popular when the lyric people dominated the websites. I've seen it around, and I've never liked the word. It's like "somebody add music to my masterful lyric" as if the music is just a package to hold the real gift, which is the lyrics....errrrrrrr, do not pass go, do not collect $200. It's the other way around, "musicating" brings the lyrics to life, and is probably the bigger part of the song, as well as the work involved to come up with a melody and chord progression, arrange, sing, perform and record it.

From now on I want to see people say "somebody lyricate this music" much more accurate!

Last edited by Fdemetrio; 12/19/19 10:59 AM.
#1159797 - 12/19/19 03:32 PM Re: Wondering, hardly any interaction on lyric forums [Re: John W. Selleck]  
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Dave Rice Online content
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LOL! FD:

Watch out, Beth will be on your case... even though it's nearing Christmas! Glad to see your sense of humor is peeking out from behind that curtain.

Merry Christmas, ----Dave

#1159800 - 12/19/19 06:09 PM Re: Wondering, hardly any interaction on lyric forums [Re: John W. Selleck]  
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Hi Everybody,
Thanks for all your comments. I apologize in advance for this "Book". It is good to hear differing opinions, that's what brought me here in the beginning, that and hoping for help with my craft, and I hope everyone can see it is a craft. Once upon a time I was a musician, sort of. I learned to read music and I played in grade school and a high school band, and was lead singer in an early rock band, circa '65. The first 2 lyrics I ever wrote were totally different pieces, one a dirge about how mourning was only for the living- "For those who think that death's the time to show off basic black", the second an early Beatles style suited for bubblegum pop. Along the way I went mostly tone deaf, from a 155 going off about 100 yards away and me in an all metal security tower with no ear protection in sunny Southeast Asia, and was not able to play music any more so my interest in songwriting went away. It came back in 2001 after I entered and won a Christmas lyric contest. Soon I was writing tons of lyrics with no way to turn them into songs:
song
/sŰNG/
Learn to pronounce
noun
noun: song; plural noun: songs

a short poem or other set of words set to music or meant to be sung.

Then I found a local singer songwriter who, for a nominal fee would do just that. I worked with him for a while but found the songs were missing something so I hooked up with a top notch musician and studio guy named Jim Heffernan. For those who have never heard of him, he has licks on at least 4 gold+ albums for Joe Diffie and Tracy Byrd. He plays anything with a string you don't have to put a bow to, expertly. he was a song picker for a major label and had his own studio in Nashville until for some unknown reason his wife got homesick for NJ. Almost all of my demos, 200+ have his picking on them. He added to the demos I had already done and then told me about BIAB. I have never had music theory, or played chords on piano or rhythm guitar due to an accident that left my left hand stupid, read about 1 second behind my brain, so I didn't know how to build a chord structure for my songs. BIAB was a life saver. I used about 1/10 of 1% of what it could do and chose a style, or mixed 2 or more styles, then a BPM, then a lead instrument, then a time signature I thought would fit and let BIAB auto-generate chords for me. Once I had that I went back to Jim and he adjusted the chords to his liking, Then he made me "Sing" what I thought the song should sound like and he built the melody from there. After a couple of months of this he said I was coming up with decent melodies which just needed fine tuning. After a year of this he told me my pitch was back. I love to sing and consider this a gift from above.

Somewhere in the middle of this, after I found the singer songwriter, I stumbled into JPF, and found tons of singer songwriters, musicians, and lyricists who were helping each other get better. I loved it. not only were lyricists helping each, but many of those from the MP3 forum were also in there helping because they believed better lyrics made for better songs, and they posted them on the lyrics forum to help make their own lyrics better. Today, we made each other better. I went on the MP3 forums a lot too, and when I could I commented.

In 2011 I had a choice to make, either move full time to my trailer in Hendersonville, TN and fight the crowd trying to find an in to the "In" crowd there, or retire overseas where i would, hopefully never have to work again. I chose the lazy route so I mostly left the songwriting behind. I also, mostly, walked away from JPF.

A few months ago I started coming back on here and "My" JPF had changed. That is why I started writing this thread. I miss the give and take of many people commenting on many threads.

About "Musicatin' ": I don't think Beth, or any of us who have, or still do, use this word; meant anything bad or derogatory by it. We just wanted to collaborate with people who had the gift of writing music. To those, I value your talents. My words would never come to life in song without music.

For those who find it hard to read lyrics without hearing music, I say, each time I read any, I try to "Sing" them to see if they have meter, and how I think they would sound. I also like to read lyrics as I hear an MP3 for the first time to see how they really fit to the music, something I can't do just listening to the song.

Is there any answer to what I see as a real problem? I don't know. I hope there is, that's why I started this thread.


Have a goodun,

John W. Selleck BMI Songwriter
A day without learning is a day lost

http://www.soundclick.com/johnsings
http://www.soundclick.com/johnwselleck
http://www.soundclick.com/johnselleck
#1159816 - 12/20/19 09:22 AM Re: Wondering, hardly any interaction on lyric forums [Re: John W. Selleck]  
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Marc Barnette Offline
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It's a little like the old days of black and white television. There are still a few shows somewhere, that have black and white, but the format has completely changed. Now we have high definition, high tech television, and the old formats, simply are not there any more. It is the same with lyrics. Until they have music, they are only half songs. There is no meter, no melody, no rhythm and EVERYBODY CAN DO IT. So no one is really interested in commenting on someone else's lyrics. They are only interested in THEIR lyrics being posted.

I've dealt with thousands of lyrics over the years. Most are overwritten, never make a point, are obscure, and nothing that would ever even fit into a song. It doesn't help the publications like "AMERICAN SONGWRITER" and others that "feature lyrics" put these long, lumbering pieces of nonsesnse as their examples for "best lyric." How many nine verse, six different choruses, four bridge songs have you ever seen in practical application?

If you take the really great lyrics, and I am not talking about the drug induced lyrics of the 60's and 70's, which were at least as much influenced by the music, guitar solos, driving drums, technical synthisizers and production, or piercing vocals, than anything the lyrics say,I know some of those writers from those eras and they don't EVEN KNOW WHAT THEY WERE WRITING ABOUT, it just all fit the music, I am talking about the lyics from Carol King, James Taylor, Bernie Taupin, and the VAST majority, of people known for lyrics, they are pretty concise. Even with Dylan, Leonard Cohen, and others, there is a symatry, and rhythm they have that read much like they sing. There are exceptions, of course, Bohemian Rhapsody, for instance, that break all the rules, but those are few and far between. And ALMOST ALWAYS are featured in the artist or groups MIDDLE of their career, not the beginnings. They have established millions of hit record sales and can basically get away with anything. When you have an unbelivably loyal following, you can pretty much do anything they will accept.

The songs that PEOPLE remember and SING, quote lyrics on, NONE of those are the rambling, lumbering things that most "lyric writers" on songwriting sites put up.

So what can be said? "This makes no sense?" "What does this even mean?" etc. There is not much TO say. So people don't. The formats, the interests, have just changed. And for "lyric only" writers, they need to find some music co-writers. Or they will find what most of them already know.

Nobody cares.
MAB

Last edited by Marc Barnette; 12/20/19 09:25 AM.
#1159822 - 12/20/19 10:58 AM Re: Wondering, hardly any interaction on lyric forums [Re: John W. Selleck]  
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Dave Rice Online content
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Morning, John, Marc and FD:

On Dec. 13th, Brian announced that he'd noticed the MP3 Forum had or was about to eclipse the 3rd Lyric Forum and was nearing second place behind the General Forum. Lyricists outnumber "Musicators" (sorry, John... I only use the term 'cause it's fun and catchy) by at least a factor of ten to one... probably even higher. The reason is fairly plain... it's easier to write down some words... even in an organized pattern, than to create a Melody. I also remember a serious discussion on the "boards" here a few years back, about the value of the Melody to the success of the song being pretty significant. That does not mean there are no exceptions. Sometimes the message of the song's lyrics are undeniably important... even paramount.

Most beginning Lyricists don't understand music theory, phrasing and/or the need to be able to compromise in order to "marry" the two elements into a song. I didn't! My pal, Hackworth... had to patiently educate me... and my ego was "bruised" often because I didn't have a clue... about what I call "Shoe-horning" the two elements.

It does seem unfair... but Lyricists need to "educate" themselves to the fact that they outnumber melody writers and performers significantly. Because so many Lyric writers tend to argue or pout... co-writing is difficult and takes away valuable time for music creation. For that reason, most Melody Creators are pretty careful about whom they choose to work with.

Marc's statement "Nobody cares?" is brutally frank... but true... with a few exceptions. All of us here (I believe) want to see everyone succeed... and Lyricists are not excluded. Just remember, they can overwhelm the boards in so many ways. On the other side of the "argument"... it is wonderful to read a lyric that can "stand on it's own two legs" (without being only poetry) and tell a story... or generate a tempo/beat without music... then literally "seep into the reader's soul."

The answer is... patience, persistence and education. Even those factors will not guarantee success... just as 90% of the songs created here are not memorable after a day or two. If you find yourself humming, singing or playing a song you've heard on the MP3 board, you can be pretty certain it has a chance to get on someone's Radar in the Music Biz.

Merry Christmas and best wishes to all of you for success and dreams fulfilled.

----Dave

#1159836 - 12/20/19 01:38 PM Re: Wondering, hardly any interaction on lyric forums [Re: John W. Selleck]  
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Marc Barnette Offline
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Dave,

One of the most limiting factors in "lyric only" writers is TIME FRAME. There is no frame of reference as to how long a song is. And even Dylan and the other longer format writers have a limit. In most songs throughout history there is a "refrain" or a "chorus" that brings people into the song and allows them to particpate. Songs like "Blowing in the Wind" or "American Pie" which are known for the length, still have a big singable chorus that happens every 30-45 seconds to keep the audience on track to remember why they are listening to the song in the first place.

People who write lyric only's usually DONT KNOW WHEN TO STOP. They go on and on and on. I have some pretty humerous stories. I've sat in workshops and someone handed me some three page lyric sheet and it was two minutes before they finished the FIRST SECTION OF THE FIRST VERSE. When is a songwriter in trouble? WHEN IT TAKES MORE THAN ONE PAGE TO GET THEIR LYRICS ON.

One of my favorite expierences was in Canada, when a man and his wife had a thirty minute critique session with me. They sat down and handed me ONE song, single spaced that lasted TWO PAGES. He started singing it and it went on and on and on. I could tell where it was going, and he was not even halfway through when at SEVEN MINUTES I stopped him. He had been saying the same thing pretty much in every verse and there was no chorus. I pointed this out to him, and he sat there kind of like the first time anyone had pointed this out to him. So, we went to the next song, and it was THREE PAGES! Almost the same thing. I stopped this one at five minutes. His wife kind of sat in the back and snickered.
I finally asked why?
She said "His favorite song is SEVENTEEN VERSES! IT'S TWENTY MINUTES LONG!!!!"
I said "WHO WOULD WANT TO LISTEN TO THAT?"

She said "THAT'S WHAT HE'S TRYING TO FIGURE OUT!!!!"

Those had music to them, if you can call it that. Imagine what a "lyric only" writer would do. They all think "MORE IS MORE."
When you sit through endless songs, or are a performer and watch people figet, go to their phones (Glow songs), get into conversations, or get up and go to the bathroom, you realize very quickly that the one thing people cannot get back, yet protect desperatly, is THEIR TIME! Waste it, and you are dead.
And most of the lyric only songs I have ever seen, waste time.

MAB

#1159839 - 12/20/19 03:05 PM Re: Wondering, hardly any interaction on lyric forums [Re: John W. Selleck]  
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Marc's right. To put it bluntly, most people don't know what they're doing. Years ago, the lyric boards were mutual admiration societies and nothing more. Thanks to technology, that
attitude has shifted to the mp3 page. You still need a hook, meter, structure and SOMETHING that sets it apart from the ten million other songs out there. Let's start with the hook. There's a song on there now with a title SO bad, I winced when I saw it. The song didn't redeem it, either. No one's gonna say anything.

Someday, tech will make it possible for a guy to do nothing, the computer does it all, lyric, melody, vox and instruments. That critique board's gonna be interesting.

Your Best Buy BS-3000 really does a good job! That song reminds me of Bowie!!

Thanks, man!

Last edited by couchgrouch; 12/20/19 03:06 PM.

Nashville demos etc:

https://www.soundclick.com/bands3/default.cfm?bandID=431939

other demos:

https://soundcloud.com/wabash-cannibal

Amazon Kindle books by Robert George you may enjoy:

1) Americana

2) Teenage Graceland

3) The Will to Be

4) Fort Mystery

5) Wheel Sea

6) My One True Love
#1159840 - 12/20/19 03:16 PM Re: Wondering, hardly any interaction on lyric forums [Re: John W. Selleck]  
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Dave Rice Online content
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LOL, Marc:

They really do come in all sizes and shapes, don't they? Lyric writers eventually figure it out... or find another hobby.

Thanks for all you do for us, especially since Brian's going through a "rough patch" healthwise.

All the best, ----Dave

#1159843 - 12/20/19 03:36 PM Re: Wondering, hardly any interaction on lyric forums [Re: John W. Selleck]  
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It's because lyrics are not songs, most lyric only people dont realize that. Lyrics are not meant to be read, but sung. And its impossible to write a lyric if you dont know anything about melody.

Technology is already doing its number on creativity, and most people agree, that is until I mention BIAB, then it becomes a war. BIAB is technology.

What is really happening right now is technology is making music about individuals, not teams. As long as you use the tech for reference and demos its fine, but thinking you can make a record with it, well, that aint happening.

It used to take pros at every level to make great records. Pro Lyrics, pro melody, pro musicians, pro singers, pro engineers, pro producers. Now everybody wants to be everything. It does make it possible to realize your material since all those jobs require time and patience to put it all together.

If you ask me the one thing that home recording people have lost sight of is tempo changes. I once inquired to an online drummer about if you want me to play to a click, how can I use a click if the tempo has to change in the song???...answer: "if you have tempo changes I cant do it"

So you either use the same tempo all the way through, or you put that song on hold until you can have a live band.

You can NOT beat live performances, but it is difficult to get.

Back to lyrics, if you look at the best songs here or online, or even in the pro world, very rarely are hit songs wordy.

And its nearly impossible to write a lyric without writing the melody too. Sure, you can write a lyric alone, but it wont be as strong melody wise.

Generally, if the lyric comes first, the melody takes second fiddle, and vica versa, exceptions to every rule.

If you want ear candy catchy choruses, write the melody first and fill in the lyrics. it HAS to be that way.

Im not short changing lyricists. Lyrics matter to me, most of the time the little lines, hooks, titles, are what pull you in. The details in the lyric very rarely matter, but they do add to the overall entertainment of the song if they are good.

But go to a Karaoke bar, if those words weren't on the screen nobody would be able to finish a song!

Last edited by Fdemetrio; 12/20/19 03:40 PM.
#1159847 - 12/20/19 04:42 PM Re: Wondering, hardly any interaction on lyric forums [Re: John W. Selleck]  
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I am a lyricist that can't write or read music, but I hear melodies when I am writing my words. I write with the melody dictating what I call the "syllabolic rhythm" of the words. Tempo changes in the melody result in changes in the syllable count of the words in a stanza. "If Wishes Were Horses" is an example of a melody in my head producing a singable poem that Deej56 readily heard a melody for and made the recording: https://soundcloud.com/user-913316932/if-wishes-were-horses

I must agree that the music most often comes first although the Byrds did a great job with Ecclesiastes verses.

#1159848 - 12/20/19 04:46 PM Re: Wondering, hardly any interaction on lyric forums [Re: Perry Neal Crawford]  
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Originally Posted by Perry Neal Crawford
I am a lyricist that can't write or read music, but I hear melodies when I am writing my words. I write with the melody dictating what I call the "syllabolic rhythm" of the words. Tempo changes in the melody result in changes in the syllable count of the words in a stanza. "If Wishes Were Horses" is an example of a melody in my head producing a singable poem that Deej56 readily heard a melody for and made the recording: https://soundcloud.com/user-913316932/if-wishes-were-horses

I must agree that the music most often comes first although the Byrds did a great job with Ecclesiastes verses.


The challenge is that you can be a great wordsmith, but are you a melody writer? Maybe your a poet or a novelist.

Its hard enough for musicians to write great melodies, let alone a poet who sings his words to himself. What kind of melody will it be.

Not you, you, just you in general.

#1159849 - 12/20/19 05:39 PM Re: Wondering, hardly any interaction on lyric forums [Re: John W. Selleck]  
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Marc,
"Everybody can write lyrics" is like saying everybody has at least one novel in them. Most people who try to write lyrics, in the beginning at least, have no idea where they want to go with them, verses, chorus, instrumental breaks, time signatures, BPM, radio friendly, and... And trying to lump all of them/us into one big batch is like saying all humans are the same. We don't all need to write 20 minute songs. We all, also, don't have the money to pay for, and many times, the time; to go to all the seminars for writers, or buy and read all the currents books that say they have the magic key to succeed in the music business.

This site has helped my lyrics tremendously by the back and forth on the lyric forums and I miss that. Yes I like to share my lyrics and do my best to help others improve as I can. Some people do care, even if you do not.

I see you are a success at what you do, and I am glad for you. I am sorry you have had to deal with so many bad lyricists but weren't you being paid to do it? I did have one critique session with a noted publisher/song picker for a major studio. His advice was that I was on the right track, keep at it, and make sure every line was bringing the story forward.

Yes, there are bad lyricists, and bad musicians, let's not lump all of them together.

PS, None of this was written in anger or to be sarcastic, merely my humble opinion.


Have a goodun,

John W. Selleck BMI Songwriter
A day without learning is a day lost

http://www.soundclick.com/johnsings
http://www.soundclick.com/johnwselleck
http://www.soundclick.com/johnselleck
#1159850 - 12/20/19 05:40 PM Re: Wondering, hardly any interaction on lyric forums [Re: John W. Selleck]  
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I will continue contributing in the spoken word genre. If something occurs with a true musician/singer/performer so much the better. Eric Burden has a couple of my parable poems to try to do something with. Time will tell, but I am no Paul Williams.

#1159851 - 12/20/19 05:55 PM Re: Wondering, hardly any interaction on lyric forums [Re: John W. Selleck]  
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Hi Dave,
Yes, all lyric writers need to educate ourselves. Some of us do and some of us don't bother to do that. Some of us pay in $ and time to try to learn the craft, and some are rewarded for it. Some of us, like me, have to go through the school of hard knocks to learn. I didn't say hardheaded, I said hard knocks. We need to listen to good musicians that also have to be good melody writers about writing lyric that is easy to marry to music. We need to learn to be able to take criticism and be able to give up a favorite word or phrase or learn to say it in a different way. We need to learn to write not only outer meter but inner meter in lines.

A lot of what I'm reading, not from you, is that lyrics are worthless without music. If they are going to be in a song, that is true. But music without words is not a song. It can be a beautiful expressive instrumental, and there are lots of those out there. many of them are timeless. I love to listen to them. But most of all I love to listen to story songs, no matter the genre, The only songs I refuse to listen to are songs about hate of any kind.


Have a goodun,

John W. Selleck BMI Songwriter
A day without learning is a day lost

http://www.soundclick.com/johnsings
http://www.soundclick.com/johnwselleck
http://www.soundclick.com/johnselleck
#1159852 - 12/20/19 06:04 PM Re: Wondering, hardly any interaction on lyric forums [Re: John W. Selleck]  
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HI FD,
You have your opinion in the chicken or the egg question and I can see you will probably never be swayed from it, just as I will never change from mine that "Composers"/musicians can write melodies to lyrics that are crafted correctly. With that said I won't try to argue with you. A very good friend of mine, Skip Johnson, has taken whole passages from the Bible, including Psalms, and written music to them. This was not only chords, but melodies. They sound great. His wife and he have both studied songwriting and music theory on the college level. Almost everything he writes is lyric first and melody later. We have had long talks about this. But maybe he is the exception that can do that.


Have a goodun,

John W. Selleck BMI Songwriter
A day without learning is a day lost

http://www.soundclick.com/johnsings
http://www.soundclick.com/johnwselleck
http://www.soundclick.com/johnselleck
#1159856 - 12/20/19 07:51 PM Re: Wondering, hardly any interaction on lyric forums [Re: John W. Selleck]  
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Dave Rice Online content
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Hi All:

Enjoyed reading all the comments on John's Thread. I hope none of you mistake (or mistook) my meaning or message when it comes to Lyricist. I am first and foremost a lyricist. Early on, I was able to enjoy the support and encouragement of a talented singer, musician and melody maker. When that ended, I took steps to learn enough to become self-sustaining by doing my own, somewhat amateurish, melodies. Time and practice eventually take hold when combined with some serious reading/learning or instruction.

Being a Lyricist is not a "death sentence." It requires a great deal of work... and developing the skill of interpersonal relationships... ending in trust, I hope. That trust between melody and lyric writers is paramount if collaboration is the avenue you intend to take.

Even if you "master" all of what I've described above... there are no guarantees you will find real success. No harm in trying. Grind away, my friends.

---Dave

#1159859 - 12/20/19 08:36 PM Re: Wondering, hardly any interaction on lyric forums [Re: John W. Selleck]  
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"Being a lyricist isn't a death sentence" is a completely unnecessary apology. Being a bad composer is no better than being a bad lyricist. It just takes a lot more time and practice to discover that playing an instrument in no way guarantees you can compose memorable melodies, any more than being able to speak a language means you can write creatively in that language.

You need talent.


Nashville demos etc:

https://www.soundclick.com/bands3/default.cfm?bandID=431939

other demos:

https://soundcloud.com/wabash-cannibal

Amazon Kindle books by Robert George you may enjoy:

1) Americana

2) Teenage Graceland

3) The Will to Be

4) Fort Mystery

5) Wheel Sea

6) My One True Love
#1159862 - 12/20/19 09:54 PM Re: Wondering, hardly any interaction on lyric forums [Re: John W. Selleck]  
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Hi Dave,
I never took you to mean anything else. In the school years I would best be described in today's lingo as ADHD. I still have a touch of that now so relearning how to play music, learning music theory and trying to learn composing is going to be a bridge to far for me. That said, I still have over 200 demos, and a #1 co-write in the UK. Even if I never make another dime from my music, I have shared them with tons of people and I even have some fans that are not friends or family. That is enough. I would love to do more songs, and find more co-writers willing to work with me. I have found a couple lately. One is working out, the other didn't. Funny thing is, back in the day, I co-wrote a number of songs that I was responsible for the music for. I used BIAB to set up the basic songs, without melody, sent them to my demo guy who adjusted the chords to his liking and sent them back, then practiced singing them to that and went back into the studio to cut a basic demo where he would adjust my melody. then we would choose a vocalist and he would produce a finished demo. I no longer have the funds to continue that option even though my studio guy gave me cut rate prices because he liked my songs. I will eventually buy BIAB again, and I have a another talented studio guy who will work a very special deal with me on guitar and vocal only. Maybe in 6 months or a year you will hear more from that.


Have a goodun,

John W. Selleck BMI Songwriter
A day without learning is a day lost

http://www.soundclick.com/johnsings
http://www.soundclick.com/johnwselleck
http://www.soundclick.com/johnselleck
#1159863 - 12/20/19 09:57 PM Re: Wondering, hardly any interaction on lyric forums [Re: John W. Selleck]  
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Hi Robert,
You know from things I have said that i consider you one f the best lyricists out there even though almost all of what you write will never fit the mold for radio airplay. Your lyrics are much too descriptive for that. that's why i like them. You will also never hear me apologize for being a lyricist. It sure makes things tougher but it is what I am.


Have a goodun,

John W. Selleck BMI Songwriter
A day without learning is a day lost

http://www.soundclick.com/johnsings
http://www.soundclick.com/johnwselleck
http://www.soundclick.com/johnselleck
#1159864 - 12/20/19 09:58 PM Re: Wondering, hardly any interaction on lyric forums [Re: John W. Selleck]  
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Hi Perry,
Keep on Keepin' On!


Have a goodun,

John W. Selleck BMI Songwriter
A day without learning is a day lost

http://www.soundclick.com/johnsings
http://www.soundclick.com/johnwselleck
http://www.soundclick.com/johnselleck
#1159867 - 12/20/19 10:48 PM Re: Wondering, hardly any interaction on lyric forums [Re: John W. Selleck]  
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Dave Rice Online content
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Hi "Couchster:"

I suspect there is not a single participant here at JPF (no matter the role they want to play... or actually have mastered) who does not desire to place a song (or their part of one) on the charts. That, in most cases will eventually create income. In my eyes, success in any part of the music biz involves income. Regretfully, talent is not enough. Having someone on the "inside" with enough "clout" to get you heard... and up the ladder is probably even more important. (Sad commentary on the state of things today... made even more difficult by streaming!)

Both elements are important... and I would prefer talent... but we all know there are plenty of no-talent "artists" out there... and there are only so many available slots at the income trough. LOL!

One thing John said earlier... sure resonates with me! You are an excellent lyricist. I wish you success... and even more happiness!

Regards, ----Dave

#1159868 - 12/21/19 12:17 AM Re: Wondering, hardly any interaction on lyric forums [Re: John W. Selleck]  
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Hey John,

I think it may come down to the supposed "ease" of writing vs writing music. Simply a pencil and a pad. Anyone can do it right ?. Wrong !

It takes an understanding of music to write good lyrics.

Lyrics are no better or worse than say a good baseline or a killer drum track. I usually run 32 tracks, one of which is the lead vocal line. Of that lead vocal, half is the melody and half are the lyrics. Therefor one could say that the lyrics comprise 1/64th of the total finished piece.

Yet there are some so called "lyricists" that just don't realise their real contribution to the piece as a whole.

That, combined with a misconception of how "valuable" their role, the lyric forums get flooded with an avalanche of unusable material.

Hence.... no comments because you can't comment on one small ingredient of a yet to be produced song.

Can you honestly comment on the ketchup when the meal has not yet been prepared ?

cheers, niteshift

PS - my comments are no reflection on my brilliant lyricist friends I have met over the years. They are more intended for those who don't study song writing yet want to "write songs"

#1159870 - 12/21/19 01:21 AM Re: Wondering, hardly any interaction on lyric forums [Re: John W. Selleck]  
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Hi Nite,
Only one question. how many people can remember the names of any instrumentals? I bet the % is pretty darn low. And once upon a time, in a kingdom far far away, about 5-6 years, many people were on the lyrics forums and a good many were trying to help each other. As to the 1/64, POOH! I would never put down musicians/ composers like that. All songs are built around 2 things, the melody, and the lyrics. Most of the rest is background.


Have a goodun,

John W. Selleck BMI Songwriter
A day without learning is a day lost

http://www.soundclick.com/johnsings
http://www.soundclick.com/johnwselleck
http://www.soundclick.com/johnselleck
#1159871 - 12/21/19 02:25 AM Re: Wondering, hardly any interaction on lyric forums [Re: John W. Selleck]  
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niteshift Online content
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Hey John,

Background ? Ever produced a song ? Ever EQ'd just one track to get if perfect ? There is a huge difference between a simple demo and finished radio ready material.

I'm not putting anyone down John, it's just that there are those that don't realise the total workload and everyone's role into making that happen.

I don't wish to wish this to be a lyricist vs composer debate. Just realisation of the total amount of work time required.

cheers, niteshift

#1159872 - 12/21/19 02:49 AM Re: Wondering, hardly any interaction on lyric forums [Re: John W. Selleck]  
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Hi nite,
I'm not putting anyone down either but at 1/64 it sounds like you are better off just letting a computer write random lyrics. Makes me feel kind of useless. I have always given composers plenty of credit.


Have a goodun,

John W. Selleck BMI Songwriter
A day without learning is a day lost

http://www.soundclick.com/johnsings
http://www.soundclick.com/johnwselleck
http://www.soundclick.com/johnselleck
#1159873 - 12/21/19 06:43 AM Re: Wondering, hardly any interaction on lyric forums [Re: John W. Selleck]  
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niteshift Online content
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Hey John,

No, I am not saying that at all. The lyricist has a vital and important role to play in the finished work.

The lyricist is essential to the production and brings the song to life.

Every role is important in my opinion.

Teamwork has always been proven to achieve great outcomes and every member of that team must not only contribute, but be a part of the whole process.

Every team member should work towards getting the best positive outcome for the project. Without the roles of each individual player ,it will not work.

cheers, niteshift




#1159874 - 12/21/19 10:07 AM Re: Wondering, hardly any interaction on lyric forums [Re: John W. Selleck]  
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John,

I am not saying "all lyric writers" but I am saying almost ALL "LYRIC ONLY" writers, I have ever seen in any format, workshop, seminar, are all very similar, most notably no time restraints. I'm talking about overwriting, and not making a point. That's my experience, but it is pretty much the same experience as every publisher, hit writer, teacher, etc. because we all talk about the difficulties in dealing with some things.
For the past 40 or so years, most people who are seriously involved in music, write both music and lyrics, even though they might not be musicians. The best lyricist I have ever worked with is Jimbeau Hinson, (Party Crowd, Hillbilly Highway, Setting Fancy Free, Grammy nominee). Jimbeau is a primarily lyricist and is an amazing one. But he started as a singer, and can play piano enough to do chords and dictate general musical direction. So he understands structure, melody, and most of all TIME LIMITS. He knows that you can't write a novel in a song. It's a song.

As far as "Everyone can do it." Actually pretty much anyone can. We begin rhyming at 5 years old, "I do not like green Eggs and ham, I do not like them Sam I am." Put those rhymes to music and you have a song. Not nessasarily a "GOOD SONG" but a song nonetheless. Anyone can write words that rhyme or are in some form of tangible thought. Because we all SPEAK. If you speak, you can put words together. And most people THINK those are songs. To them, they are. To the rest of the world, maybe not so. That is what I mean by "EVERYBODY CAN DO IT.

It takes skill and practice to play a musical instrument, you can't just sit down the first time, pick one up and start playing. Even with computer programs, Band in a Box, or whatever, it takes some knowledge of the program, some learning curve to do. That's not the same with lyrics. People can sit down from the very first moment and write what THEY consider to be a song. No practice, no knowledge, just throwing words down.

Now writing a song that has merit, that other people consider a song, that has structure, melody, time frame, is another proposition altogether. But throwing some words together that rhyme? Yep. Anybody can do that.

#1159876 - 12/21/19 11:09 AM Re: Wondering, hardly any interaction on lyric forums [Re: John W. Selleck]  
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Originally Posted by John W. Selleck
HI FD,
You have your opinion in the chicken or the egg question and I can see you will probably never be swayed from it, just as I will never change from mine that "Composers"/musicians can write melodies to lyrics that are crafted correctly. With that said I won't try to argue with you. A very good friend of mine, Skip Johnson, has taken whole passages from the Bible, including Psalms, and written music to them. This was not only chords, but melodies. They sound great. His wife and he have both studied songwriting and music theory on the college level. Almost everything he writes is lyric first and melody later. We have had long talks about this. But maybe he is the exception that can do that.


All im saying is that MOST people who just write lyrics are not very good at it. Some can, they seem to be able to listen to other songs, or frankly, copy other songs and just put their own words in. That can work, just taking the structure of a hit song and rewriting your own words, you know its going to work, because it already has.

But the bottom line is lyrics are just something you look at until they are placed in the context of music. A seemingly weak lyric, can sound like the most poetic most profound statement when placed into a tune that supports it. Ive seen it here.

I still post lyrics, but its kind of dumb doing so.

#1159877 - 12/21/19 11:34 AM Re: Wondering, hardly any interaction on lyric forums [Re: John W. Selleck]  
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I also believe lyrics can function as just another sound palate in the song. The sound of the words sometimes are more important than the content, the phoenetics. Thats why when we rewrite words to other songs they dont sound as good.

Take a simple song like Twist and Shout. Probably the most simple lyric ever written. Now rewrite it, does it sound as good? nope.

Last edited by Fdemetrio; 12/21/19 11:36 AM.
#1159879 - 12/21/19 11:37 AM Re: Wondering, hardly any interaction on lyric forums [Re: John W. Selleck]  
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When I posted lyrics, I always thought of them as springboards. If a musician could turn the germ of an idea I had into a song, then that was great. It was fulfilling to hear my thoughts on a subject being sung. But, I was also pleased with just the act of honing a concept, so that the final product stated exactly what i wanted it to state. I never expected anyone to use my lyric verbatim or even close to verbatim. I found it endlessly fascinating to mess with lyrics, whether mine or someone else's, which is why I'd spend hours giving people ideas. It was the crystallization of the person's thoughts that I found to be interesting. I'd say, "is this what you really meant to say, or are you really trying to say this?" And watching that process unfold was rewarding.

#1159880 - 12/21/19 11:46 AM Re: Wondering, hardly any interaction on lyric forums [Re: John W. Selleck]  
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As a composer, whatís important to me in lyrics (besides the concept & content) is the meter. Consistent meter throughout makes for better melodies. And yes, I prefer fewer words. Saying profound thoughts in a simple way is a gift. I usually work from lyrics. The lyrics guide my music in melody and mood.

Best, John smile

#1159881 - 12/21/19 12:02 PM Re: Wondering, hardly any interaction on lyric forums [Re: John Lawrence Schick]  
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Originally Posted by John Lawrence Schick
. And yes, I prefer fewer words. Saying profound thoughts in a simple way is a gift.

Best, John smile


This. Alot of people can say significant things if given enough words, it still takes talent but the real talent is saying it in as few words as possible.

Alot of people put so much weight on stretching the paper out and filling it out. Cause as a lyricist only, it appears you are not doing anything if not writing alot of words

#1159882 - 12/21/19 12:13 PM Re: Wondering, hardly any interaction on lyric forums [Re: John W. Selleck]  
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Twist and Shout rewrite:

Actual:
Well, shake it up, baby, now
shake it up, baby,
Twist and shout
Come on, come on, come, come on, baby, now
Come on and work it on out
Well, work it on out, honey
You know you look so good
You know you got me goin' now
Just like I know you would

Rewrite:

Well, wiggle it baby, now
Wiggle It Baby
Move them hips
Move them hips
Cmon cmon cmon baby now
Someone will give you a tip
Give you a tip

Equally silly, but no matter what you come up with, it will never sound like the original


Last edited by Fdemetrio; 12/21/19 12:15 PM.
#1159883 - 12/21/19 12:57 PM Re: Wondering, hardly any interaction on lyric forums [Re: John W. Selleck]  
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Lisa Gundling Offline
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The short length of "Twist & Shout" is an outlier. If the majority of songs had lyrics of that length, then people would naturally be writing to that standard. People tend to write to the average length.

#1159884 - 12/21/19 02:06 PM Re: Wondering, hardly any interaction on lyric forums [Re: Lisa Gundling]  
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Fdemetrio Online content
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Originally Posted by Lisa Gundling
The short length of "Twist & Shout" is an outlier. If the majority of songs had lyrics of that length, then people would naturally be writing to that standard. People tend to write to the average length.


I know Im just talking about how it SOUNDS. It's not what we read it's what we hear. I cant write anything that SOUNDS better than twist and shout, but I can write something that looks as good on paper.

Twist and shout is not a classicly great lyric, not even close, but if you try to top it, its very hard. It's the same thing with the music. 3 Chords, very simply melody, high intensity, and alot of people would think...ahh I could write something like that.... well, Give it a shot......

Im speaking mostly of pop music, other genres like (old) country the lyrics were as important if not more than the music. Some folk music, even rock n roll has lyrics that are dense.

Pop music you dont get alot of words to use, thats why alot of lyricists look at some pop songs and think the lyrics are weak. Sometimes they are perfect for what the song is doing.

#1159892 - 12/21/19 08:44 PM Re: Wondering, hardly any interaction on lyric forums [Re: John W. Selleck]  
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NJ
Hi Nite,
Thanks.


Have a goodun,

John W. Selleck BMI Songwriter
A day without learning is a day lost

http://www.soundclick.com/johnsings
http://www.soundclick.com/johnwselleck
http://www.soundclick.com/johnselleck
#1159893 - 12/21/19 08:52 PM Re: Wondering, hardly any interaction on lyric forums [Re: John W. Selleck]  
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NJ
Hi Marc,
I do understand where you're coming from, and I am sure lots of people in the industry get tired of sorting through all the garbage to get to a few gems. But:

lyr∑i∑cist
/ˈlirəsəst/
Learn to pronounce
noun
noun: lyricist; plural noun: lyricists

a person who writes the words to a popular song or musical.

There are other definitions from other dictionaries but I prefer this one. It suits my idea of what being one should be.


Have a goodun,

John W. Selleck BMI Songwriter
A day without learning is a day lost

http://www.soundclick.com/johnsings
http://www.soundclick.com/johnwselleck
http://www.soundclick.com/johnselleck
#1159894 - 12/21/19 09:00 PM Re: Wondering, hardly any interaction on lyric forums [Re: John W. Selleck]  
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NJ
Hi FD,

It is true that lyrics are just words until they are put to music. It is also true that music is just an instrumental until it is married to lyrics. And yes, there are plenty of silly lyrics out there that made it big. Twist and shout is one of them. There seem to be a lot more in pop but we have plenty in country too. Achy Breaky Heart is a good example.

I don't feel dumb at all posting lyrics. I write them to share and hopefully get some feedback, hence this thread. I also enjoy helping others when I can, and yes, giving praise where I think it is due.


Have a goodun,

John W. Selleck BMI Songwriter
A day without learning is a day lost

http://www.soundclick.com/johnsings
http://www.soundclick.com/johnwselleck
http://www.soundclick.com/johnselleck
#1159895 - 12/21/19 09:03 PM Re: Wondering, hardly any interaction on lyric forums [Re: John W. Selleck]  
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Hi Lisa,
Great to see you on here again. You're contributions are missed. And yes, I don't expect people knocking down my door by posting lyrics. I due hope to hone them to a point where someone will notice and say-"I really want to share in making this a song.


Have a goodun,

John W. Selleck BMI Songwriter
A day without learning is a day lost

http://www.soundclick.com/johnsings
http://www.soundclick.com/johnwselleck
http://www.soundclick.com/johnselleck
#1159896 - 12/21/19 09:05 PM Re: Wondering, hardly any interaction on lyric forums [Re: John W. Selleck]  
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Hi John LS,
This is exactly what I try to do with my lyrics to get someone like you to embrace them. Thanks for commenting.


Have a goodun,

John W. Selleck BMI Songwriter
A day without learning is a day lost

http://www.soundclick.com/johnsings
http://www.soundclick.com/johnwselleck
http://www.soundclick.com/johnselleck
#1159904 - 12/21/19 11:49 PM Re: Wondering, hardly any interaction on lyric forums [Re: John W. Selleck]  
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niteshift Online content
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Fiji
Hey John, it's a good thread and topic.

Do you have an answer to your original question yet ?

What I admire about JPF is the honesty and frankness of many different minds and experiences.

As Brian says "we're all in this together" and although there might be different opinions, each puts in their 10 cents to get a better outcome for song writers whom are at the absolute bottom of the totom pole.

Write on !

cheers, niteshift

#1159905 - 12/22/19 01:21 AM Re: Wondering, hardly any interaction on lyric forums [Re: John W. Selleck]  
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Hi nite,
I would guess that one of the questions I need to answer is the membership from then to now, and the average # of members on site from then to now. It may be because less people are here. I am hoping it's not that less people want to get involved.


Have a goodun,

John W. Selleck BMI Songwriter
A day without learning is a day lost

http://www.soundclick.com/johnsings
http://www.soundclick.com/johnwselleck
http://www.soundclick.com/johnselleck
#1159909 - 12/22/19 09:25 AM Re: Wondering, hardly any interaction on lyric forums [Re: John W. Selleck]  
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niteshift Online content
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Fiji
Hey John,

From what I understand, traffic numbers are way up but comments and interaction are down. Seems like folks will look but not interact.

Are we a scary bunch ? LOL

cheers, nitshift

#1159910 - 12/22/19 09:59 AM Re: Wondering, hardly any interaction on lyric forums [Re: John W. Selleck]  
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Dave Rice Online content
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Texas
Are we only a world of Tire-kickers? No Test Drivers? Hmmm... maybe so!

Merry Christmas from West Mayberry! I'll be in solitary for a few days down in Marble Falls. Anyone need some Marbles? LOL!

Happy Kangaroo, Nite... Shalom in Siapan, John. Jolly Symphony... Professor Schick! Many Mules to you, WY... wherever you are in the "Show Me" State! (You are missed!)

...and to the rest of you... do what Ray says... "Write a Hit!" JPF is number one on my list and my prayers continue to be sent skyward on behalf of Brian.

Last but not least... it's always good to see one of my co-writers, Lisa Gundling... posting here again. Have a great 2020, my friend. That Son of yours must be in High School by now?

----Dave

#1159913 - 12/22/19 11:39 AM Re: Wondering, hardly any interaction on lyric forums [Re: John W. Selleck]  
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Ray E. Strode Offline
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Brunswick, Ga. USA
Eh. Well,
If you are going to write lyrics only I highly suggest you find a co-writer or two and set your lyrics to music. Finding a co-writer may be difficult. If you have a Music Store near by you may be able to connect with one there. Aw yes it isn't as easy as it sounds. I have been learning a guitar since about 1959. If you can't play an instrument you might get one and start learning. However you don't need to play an instrument to put music to your lyrics. You can buy a recorder, the DP-006 is a self contained recorder you can buy. I'm still using a Porta-Studio cassette recorder and then can transfer the recording to CD.
You can sing and fine tune your lyrics without an instrument. Go for it!


Ray E. Strode
#1159921 - 12/22/19 03:39 PM Re: Wondering, hardly any interaction on lyric forums [Re: John W. Selleck]  
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NJ
Dang Nite,
That would be depressing. I might have to write a song about it.


Have a goodun,

John W. Selleck BMI Songwriter
A day without learning is a day lost

http://www.soundclick.com/johnsings
http://www.soundclick.com/johnwselleck
http://www.soundclick.com/johnselleck
#1159922 - 12/22/19 03:41 PM Re: Wondering, hardly any interaction on lyric forums [Re: John W. Selleck]  
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NJ
Hi Dave,
Have a wonderful Christmas yourself and don't lose all of yours down there at the falls. I'll be here pluggin' along.


Have a goodun,

John W. Selleck BMI Songwriter
A day without learning is a day lost

http://www.soundclick.com/johnsings
http://www.soundclick.com/johnwselleck
http://www.soundclick.com/johnselleck
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